Heat big factor for fire crews battling Loma Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

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The heat is a big factor in the Loma Fire that has been burning since Monday afternoon in the mountains of Santa Cruz. Mandatory evacuations have been issued. The fire has burned over 1,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained. (KGO-TV)

The hot temperature is turning out to be a big factor in the Loma Fire that has been burning since Monday afternoon in the mountains of Santa Cruz. Evacuation advisories last night turned into mandatory evacuations Tuesday morning for people living on Croy Road and Little Uvas Road.

Tim Austin lives on Alamitos Road. He evacuated Monday night. He took video outside his home where helicopters were making drops on the nearby flames.

The disabled veteran drove off from his property almost immediately when he was told to evacuate, just grabbing a change of clothes. He slept in his car overnight.

WATCH VIDEO: Loma Fire prompts hundreds of evacuations

PHOTOS: Crews battle brush fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

It's also an issue for animal evacuations as people and pets flee the area.

"We got our cats. That's important. And I don't really know. We're afraid that even if nothing goes wrong with our house, we won't be allowed back in, so, we're not sure where we'll be staying. We grabbed a few days of clothes and that's all we've got," said Michael Cecera, an evacuee.

The fire is not only chasing people from their homes, but animals also need to be rescued, too.

RELATED: Loma Fire spreads to at least 1,000 acres in Santa Cruz Mountains

Video from Sky 7 shows firefighters putting water on the flames next to a building and home on Casa Loma Road while several horses nervously paced back and forth.

Hundreds remain threatened Tuesday morning by the Loma Fire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The fire has burned over a 1,500 acres and is still only 5 percent contained. It has been tough for firefighters to battle the flames in part because it is dry and hot - although it's cooled off significantly overnight. The terrain is steep and unfamiliar to fire crews as well.

At least one structure has been destroyed, but no injuries have been reported. New mandatory evacuation orders have been ordered for Little Uvas and Croy roads. Animals are also being evacuated.

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"After dark is we're fighting fire in unfamiliar terrain with obviously dangers from the fire itself and the movement of the fire. It definitely presents a considerable amount of danger to us, besides just that firefighting aspect," SJPD Capt. Christopher Salcido said.

Crews from all across the Bay Area and the state are already fighting the flames, including planes dropping retardant from above.

The flames reached up to 100 feet high.

Evacuation centers have been set up at Soquel High School, the Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos and the Presbyterian church on De Witt Avenue in Morgan Hill.

For evacuees who want to get their large animals out of harm's way, two centers have been set up to take them in. Horses can be taken to the Graham Hill Showgrounds in Santa Cruz or the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville.

If you have other animals, please call ahead to see if they can take them.

Mandatory evacuation orders for the Loma Prieta ridgeline area including all tributary roads along Summit Road from Soquel San Jose Road to Ormsby Fire Station. This includes Uvas Canyon County Park, Loma Chiquita, Casa Loma, Loma Prieta Way, Highland Road and Mount Bache Road. Portions of Croy Road are under an evacuation warning.

Road closures:
Loma Chiquita Road

Summit Road from Soquel San Jose Road to Pole Line Road
Mount Bache Road at Highland Road
Casa Loma Road at McKean/Uvas
Mount Madonna at Ormsby Road
Mount Madonna Road at Pole Line Road
Croy Road at Uvas Road is open to residents only.

Click here for full coverage on the Loma Fire.

Related Topics:
cal firefirefirefighterssanta clara countybrush firesanta cruz countyinvestigationLoma FireSanta Cruz
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